The Power Practical Power Pot harnesses energy from boiling water to charge almost any device, including your phone, GPS, camera, iPod and flashlight. When I first heard about it, I loved that some engineer-y person was creative enough to think up the idea for this invention.
I've been testing this water pot that charges your phone and other devices for the last few weeks. I haven't taken it on an extended excursion into the woods yet, but have put it through its paces during backyard cookouts and on a hike. Here's the long and the short.
Power Pot Pros:
- Easy pouring with a stable handle
- Durable anodized aluminum material
- Good size pot to boil water for two people (1 quart)
- Weighs just under 1 pound. I consider this lightweight, especially considering its dual functionality, but some ultralight enthusiasts might balk.
- Reasonable amount of time to boil water (11 minutes, 36 secs at 6,500 feet)
- Device starts charging 47 seconds after you turn on the heat source
- Comes with a variety of plug types to charge iPhones, Android phones or other USB devices
- Continues to charge for a short time after you turn off the heat source
- Makes a great gift for the person who has everything
Power Pot Cons:
- You won’t get full charge on one pot of water. Best to use it to "top off" the charge on your devices.
- Takes a while to cool down. Make sure you account for this when you are packing up.
- It is recommended to only boil water in the pot, not cook in it.
- Bulky, compared to nesting pots and cooking kits
- Multipurpose cup/bowl/skillet has a small flat base and was not stable on either of my stoves-best used as a lid or for mixing
I'll be honest. When I take to the woods with my backpack, it’s all about unplugging. I’ve never carried a phone, GPS or other corded gadget that beams into the modern world. I'm all about gadgets in my everyday life, but like to keep them away from my campsite.
Then I met the Power Practical Power Pot, and it got me thinking about how it would be really handy to look at my star-gazing app on my tablet or have my phone in case of an emergency. Also, there's something magical feeling about cooking and creating power at the same time.
For a 2-day backpacking trip, your electronics generally stay charged, but for a multi-day hike, river trip, hunting trip or even a long roadie, the Power Pot would be a rock star. Cameras, e-readers, navigational devices, locator beacons, USB walkie talkies and rechargeable batteries can all be juiced up with the Power Pot.
It's worth noting, however, that you won’t get a full charge on one pot of water. If you are depending on it to have full Instagramming and e-mail checking abilities, you’ll use up all your stove gas quickly. The Power Pot is best used to "top off" the charge on your devices. And then conserve that charge as much as possible, by using airplane mode and turning off devices when not in use.
If you are looking for a longer charge, pair the Power Pot with another product from Power Practical, the Lithium 4400 charger. This small, lightweight charger provides a second way to power your devices while on the go, and has the bonus of a built-in lantern that can last up to 30 hours.
Bottom line: The Power Pot was just FUN. Am I less of a luddite on the trail? Sure. Can I continue reading The Poisonwood Bible on my Kindle vs. bringing the bulky book? Absolutely. Does it mean I am going to bring it on every overnighter? Absolutely not, but I’d love to have it when I know I won’t see a wall plug for several days.